Vacationing with MagCloud

Memorial Day is a welcome beacon that summer is around the corner. As you finalize your plans for summer, MagCloud wants to provide you with a way to capture all of those special memories and experiences – whether it’s a staycation near home, a road trip to the national park or a getaway to an exotic locale.

How are you chronicling this precious time? Some of us may remember those family gatherings in front of the carousel slide projector or the bulky albums our parents put together after every trip. Now with MagCloud, you can create a personal memento in magazine format to easily share your memories with family and friends in print and digitally.

Here are a few tips and tools to assist you through the process:

  • If you’re creating a simple photo magazine, below are a few tips and resources to “prep” your images before publishing.
    • To produce a quality publication, make sure all images have a resolution of at least 300 pixels per inch.
    • If you’re looking for photo editing tools but don’t have access to Photoshop, check out GIMP (free software that features most of the capabilities that Photoshop offers) or any of these additional photo editing tools.
    • Short on time or not comfortable with design tools? Give Poyomi and turn the photo sets into a magazine without using a design program.
    • Need inspiration? Browse through some of our travel and vacation magazines.

Have you ever used MagCloud to create a magazine of memories? It’s even a great way to commemorate a school year, a birth, a wedding and more. With MagCloud’s digital publishing and print-on-demand capabilities, it’s never been easier or more budget-friendly to capture the special moments in life.

How-to-Guides Make Publishing on MagCloud a Snap!

We’ve just released a series of step-by-step guides to help our publishers create PDFs that are MagCloud publish-ready.

There are guides for a wide variety of design, desktop publishing and word processing applications including Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress, Apple Pages, Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word.

The How-to-Guides walk you through document settings, trim and bleed tips, image sizing, color spacing, designing for perfect binding, PDF exporting and more.

All guides are available for free digital download or you can order a print copy at MagCloud of course :).

If you are looking for inspiration check out some of our existing design templates for brochures, cookbooks and calendars.

Happy Publishing!

Sending Your Holiday Newsletter Just Got Easier

There’s no ignoring that the holidays are creeping closer. It’s time to take that family portrait, write those greeting cards and send our annual updates and well-wishes on their way to our loved-ones.

But if you’re like me, the idea of hand addressing 100+ cards to family and friends, and stuffing envelopes seems like madness.

But for just 60¢ each (when you order in bulk), sending a 4-page glossy family newsletter is much more fun and affordable and you can you can save the wasted hours and annoying paper cuts from stuffing envelopes.

We’ve created six holiday newsletter templates to get you started so you can spend more time enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and playing with the kids.

How it Works
A 4-page publication costs just 80¢ when ordered individually and drops to 60¢ when you order in bulk of 20 or more copies. So you can create a 4-page newsletter and ship them anywhere in the US for about $1.70. Better yet you don’t have to brave the crowds at the post office or lick a single stamp.

Using MagCloud’s “Ship to Group” Feature
The “Ship to Group” feature lets you mail publications to multiple recipients with a single order. That means you can design your newsletter, upload it to MagCloud, and let MagCloud handle distributing copies to everyone on your list.

Shipping each copy costs more than a USPS stamp, (it’s about $1.09 domestic) but when you consider each copy only costs you $0.60 (when you order 20 or more copies)–spending less than $1.70 for 4-full-color pages, delivered to your loved ones with just a few clicks of the mouse–is easily worth it!

If you need help working with Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word, or Apple iWork Pages check out previous posts on working with each application in our  ‘tips and tricks’ section.

For a basic template that maximizes your space for a family newsletter, and gives you the ease of “Ship to Group,” check these out:

Preview the InDesign (Ship to Group) Newsletter Template

DOWNLOAD the InDesign CS4 or newer (Ship to Group) Newsletter Template

Preview the Word (Ship to Group) Newsletter Template

DOWNLOAD the Word (Ship to Group) Newsletter Template

Preview the Pages (Ship to Group) Newsletter Template

DOWNLOAD the Pages (Ship to Group) Newsletter Template

Ship it Yourself:
If you prefer to put a little extra love into your mailing, want to sign your name, add a sticker or simply put a personal note in a few of your messages, then use one of the  “Fold and Ship” Holiday templates. These have an address area for you to adhere address labels and a stamp, and are intended to be folded to a 8.25″ x 5.375″ size and sealed so that they can be mailed with a 44¢ 1st-class stamp.

This template style requires that you order a bulk order to be shipped to youself, and then you handle folding them in half and mailing. While this process can save you a bit of money–these averages about $1.35 per letter–(depending on stickers, address labels and postage) it’s more time consuming.

Preview  the InDesign (Fold and Mail) Newsletter Template

DOWNLOAD the InDesign CS4 or newer (Fold and Mail) Newsletter Template

Preview the Word (Fold and Mail) Newsletter Template

DOWNLOAD the Word (Fold and Mail) Newsletter Template

Preview the Pages (Fold and Mail) Newsletter Template

DOWNLOAD the Pages (Fold and Mail) Newsletter Template

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

How Do I Create a Group Order?

Simply create an address group in your MagCloud address book (Account>Address book>Add New Group). Name your group — clients, friends, family, vendors etc — and select group members from existing recipients in your address book.

Once your recipients and group are ready, add the newsletter to your cart. Set the quantity to the number intended for each recipient, not the total for all recipients. For example, if you are sending 1 copy to 20 recipients you should set the quantity to 1.

When you get to the shipping page, click “Select from Address Book »”, choose your address group and complete checkout. That’s it! Costs will be displayed for the total order including all recipients.

Can I upload my own mailing list to my MagCloud address book?

Not currently, but that is a feature we hope to offer in a future site update.

Have more questions about Shipping or Publishing through MagCloud?

Check out our Help Section and Shipping FAQ.

Easy Custom Cookbooks with Microsoft Word

The holidays are creeping closer, so we’re back today, with another template to transform your family’s favorite recipes into a colorful, beautifully-published recipe book that you can give to your friends and loved-ones this holiday season.

Yesterday I shared a template for using an Adobe InDesign template, which you can read more about here. Today we’re looking at using Microsoft Word to create a quick and easy recipe book.

GETTING STARTED:
To get you started with publishing your own recipe book, you can follow along with the one I created for this demo.

DOWNLOAD the MagCloud-ready Word Template.

CUSTOMIZING YOUR TEMPLATE:

Editing Master Pages:
To edit the page number styles and the logo on the right-hand pages, you will need to acces the document’s master pages–these can sometimes be tricky to find, so be sure you are in “Publishing Layout” which you can select by going to VIEW >> Publishing Layout.

Then, in the lower right-hand corner of the application window, you can toggle from the document content to the master page layouts.

(Tip: be sure to toggle back to the content pages once you have made your changes.)

Making it your own:
Changing the paragraph styles of the document makes it easy to change the overall look of your cookbook with minimal effort.

For a quick transformation you can start by changing the “Document Theme” within the Formatting Palette. This transforms both the fonts and color palette quickly and then you can make more minor adjustments using the techniques below.

Change the Text and Accent Colors:
Much like you can change the theme, you can also simply adjust the colors used within the template using the “Colors” Options within the “Document Theme” section of the Formatting Palette.

By selecting this fly out menu you can select different color palettes, and see how picking them, transforms the look of your recipe book.

Change the Font Style Sheets:
1. With the Styles Segment of the Formatting Palette open, select the text that you would like to modify on the page.
2. You should see the current style become highlighted in the toolbox panel.
3. Click on the fly-out window to the right of the highlighted style name and select “Modify Style…”
4. Within the dialog box, you can adjust the font, color, sizing and other properties of the associated style.
5. Select “Ok” to save your changes.

Swapping-in and Adding Your Own Photos:
1. Select the image you want to replace.
2. Within the Picture Segment of the Formatting Palette, click on the “Replace…” button
3. Select the image you would like using the dialog box.

(Tip: If you want to add more photos to the template:
Simply go to INSERT >> Picture >> From File… )

Inserting More Recipe Pages:
1. Within the navigation panel, select a page and “right-click” or “ctrl + click” on the mini preview of the page you would like to duplicated.
2.  Select “Duplicate Page”
3. Drag the new mini page that has been added to the Navigation Panel to the desired location in the order of the document.
(Tip: You can also select a page and go to INSERT >> Duplicate Page)

SAVE AND EXPORT A PDF

A quick note about export settings:
Because this template has been designed with elements that bleed off the page (like the cover which has color that goes edge-to-edge), you will need to set your document so that it will export as such.

To do this:
1. Go to FORMAT >> Document…
2. In the dialogue box, confirm that your settings match the ones pictured in this screen shot. (Top: 0.13″, Bottom: 0.13″, Inside: 0″,  Outside: 0.25″, Gutter: 0.25″, mirror margins is checked)
3. Select “Page Setup”
4. Under paper size, if you don’t already have “MagCloud” selected, Select Paper Size >> Manage Custom Sizes…
5. Create a new paper size that is 8.5″ x 11″ with a User-defined non-printable area that is 0″ al the way around.

Microsoft Word 2003: To export your Word 2003 document as a MagCloud PDF on a PC, first go into Tools > Options and select the Save tab. Ensure that the box next to Embed TrueType Fonts is checked, but the boxes next to its subcategories (“Embed characters in use only” and “Do not embed common system fonts”) are unchecked.

Then, in the “Save to PDF” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should also automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Click Okay, then go to FILE > Save As and select PDF from the file type drop-down menu to save your PDF.

Microsoft Word 2007 (PC): To export your Word 2007 document on a PC, click on the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left hand corner and choose “Word Options”. Select the Save tab on the left and make sure that the box for “Embed fonts in this file” is checked, but uncheck the boxes below it (“Embed only the characters used in the document” and “Do not embed common system fonts”).

Then, in the “Save to PDF (or XPS)” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Microsoft Word (Mac): When exporting your PDF on a Mac, there is no option to embed fonts, so simply select File > Save As and choose PDF from the Format drop-down menu.

*This usually is only an issue if you have empty, hidden or transparent text frames in your document, or when a single character within a block of text uses a different font than the rest of the paragraph. If you have problems, you will either need to eliminate these, or embed the fonts in a different program before uploading to MagCloud. (see the help section)

WANT MORE HELP WITH WORD AND TEMPLATES?

Microsoft Office Word Template Site

Mactopia (for Mac Word Help/How-to’s)

Creating Calendars Recap

In case you missed it we had two great blog posts this week filled with tips and tricks on how to create a 2011 calendar and easily publish it on MagCloud.

Microsoft Word users download our MagCloud ready calendar templates and get step by step instructions for creating your own 2011 calendar.

Apple Pages users we have some great templates for you too, with tips on how to customize them for your specific calendar needs.

If you are looking for some inspiration there are lots of great 2011 calendars already popping up on MagCloud here are a few samples:

2011 Inspirations Calendar
The Moon Calendar 2011
Whidbey Island 2011

It’s Calendar Season!

The Holiday Season is just around the corner, so it’s no surprise that a number of calendars are popping up on MagCloud.

Whether you are looking for a gift idea for your family, a fundraiser for your children’s sports team, a new way to gain exposure for your art and photography or another way to build brand awareness for your small business– at $5.60 for a 28-page publication on MagCloud, creating a calendar is both easy and affordable.

Throughout the rest of this week we’ll explore designing calendars with Microsoft Word, iWork Pages, and using MagCloud’s Flickr Uploadr.

First up: Microsoft Word.

Getting Started
In past blogs we’ve discussed the number of resources for Microsoft Word templates. Whether you are visiting Microsoft’s Website, or the program’s built-in project gallery (available on a Mac), you can find various calendar templates to get you started.

In this particular exercise, I have created my own custom template by inserting a table into each page that is 6 columns and 7 rows. To avoid running into issues with rotating pages, when I export the final calendar, I have designed for the landscape appearance while working in a portrait setting. To do this, I have simply set the text orientation on it’s side.

To complete this calendar you will want to have a minimum of 15 images–preferably in a landscape format.

You can start with one of the basic templates, and follow along to make it your own. I’ve created two versions to get you started: a casual look with sans-serif fonts, and a more sophisticated look with a classic serif font. You can download them here:

Download the Formal Word Template
Download the Casual Word Template

Styling Your Calendar
The calendar template has built-in style sheets, so you can easily change the fonts and colors to fit your needs.

Select "FORMAT >> Style"

To make the necessary adjustments, you must first select a block of text that you wish to modify (for example to change the font style of the days of the week, you could select “Thursday”). Go to FORMAT >> Style; once in the “Format” dialog box, you can narrow the list of fonts to the ones of interest by selecting “User-defined Styles.”

Now you can choose to “Modify” each of these paragraph styles to change the look of your template.

Modify Paragraph StyleWithin the “Modify Style” dialog box you can select different fonts, weights and colors for the “Day of the week” paragraph style.

**Be sure to check “Automatically update” so that when you save your changes, all uses of that style throughout the document are updated to the new look.

Repeat these steps to adjust the “month” and “number” styles to customize your calendar further.

Make it Personal with Photos
Now it’s time to insert photos into the blank pages of your calendar.

Insert Picture (from file)

To do so, select Insert >> Picture >>From File… Within the dialog box you can select saved photos to insert one at a time on the blank pages.

You will need to rotate each image -90º onto it’s side, (to the left or “counter-clockwise”) so that they will be oriented properly in the printed version.

Lock image aspect ratio**Designer Tip: Be sure to adjust photos proportionately, so they maintain the same aspect ratio and don’t look stretched or distorted. On a Mac, you can select “Lock aspect ratio” in the “Formatting Palette,” to ensure that images look their best. You can also set this preference while you have an image selected, and then by going to the “Format” menu and selecting Picture >> Size >> “Lock aspect ratio”**

Save, then Export to a PDF
Microsoft Word 2003: To export your Word 2003 document as a MagCloud PDF on a PC, first go into Tools > Options and select the Save tab. Ensure that the box next to Embed TrueType Fonts is checked, but the boxes next to its subcategories (“Embed characters in use only” and “Do not embed common system fonts”) are unchecked.

Then, in the “Save to PDF” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should also automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Click Okay, then go to File > Save As and select PDF from the file type drop-down menu to save your PDF.

Microsoft Word 2007 (PC): To export your Word 2007 document on a PC, click on the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left hand corner and choose “Word Options”. Select the Save tab on the left and make sure that the box for “Embed fonts in this file” is checked, but uncheck the boxes below it (“Embed only the characters used in the document” and “Do not embed common system fonts”).

Then, in the “Save to PDF (or XPS)” dialog box, click the “Options” button and check the “ISO 19005-1 compliant” box, which should automatically put a check in the “Bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded” box.

Microsoft Word (Mac): When exporting your PDF on a Mac, there is no option to embed fonts, so simply select File > Save As and choose PDF from the Format drop-down menu.

*This usually is only an issue if you have empty, hidden or transparent text frames in your document, or when a single character within a block of text uses a different font than the rest of the paragraph. If you have problems, you will either need to eliminate these, or embed the fonts in a different program before uploading to MagCloud. (see the help section)

WANT MORE HELP WITH WORD AND TEMPLATES?

Microsoft Office Word Template Site

Mactopia (for Mac Word Help/How-to’s)

Check back with us tomorrow for more how-to’s and tips with calendars using iWork Pages, and again on Friday for a quick an easy calendar that you can make straight from your flickr account using MagCloud’s Flickr Uploadr!